Number Working Past 65 Doubles over Past Decade

Over the past decade, an increasing number of people aged 65 and over have remained in work, despite the recession.  Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in 2001 around 412,000 people aged 65 and over were in work, and this rose to 870,000 in the last quarter of 2010.

This increase was seen in both full-time and part-time employment.  In the three months from October to December 2010:               

  • 2.7 per cent (270,000) worked full-time, up from 1.2 per cent (106,000) in January to March 2001
  • 6.1 per cent (600,000) worked part-time, up from 3.4 per cent (306,000) in January to March 2001

Since the onset of the recent recession, full-time employment rates have fallen for those aged 16 to 64. However, the situation has been different for those aged 65 and over, where it rose by 0.5 percentage points between January to March 2008 (the final quarter before the downturn) and October to December 2010.

ONS statistician Jamie Jenkins said:

“The analysis gives more detail on the characteristics of those people working after reaching the age of 65.

“Over the last decade these older workers are making up an increasing percentage of the total workforce in the UK, doubling from 1.5 per cent in 2001, to 3.0 per cent in 2010.

“The analysis also looks at how long these individuals have been in continuous employment, and it shows that around two-thirds of those in work after reaching the age of 65 have been with their current employer for over 10 years.”


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